Technology Turmoil: The Impact of India Banning Chinese Apps

Amidst rising tensions with China, the Indian government through its Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology recently blocked for public access the availability of 59 Chinese applications in India. Affected apps include social media apps like TikTok, Helo and WeChat; and other popular apps like ShareIT, UC Browser, CamScanner and Clubfactory.

The Ministry has banned the apps by invoking its power under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 (the IT Act) read along with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules, 2009 (the Blocking Rules) reasoning apps’ engagement in activities “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.” According to the 9Ministry, the banned apps were “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India. The compilation of these data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defence of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures.

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